Lack of Proper Awareness and Adequate Resources Affect Fight Against Cancer – C3G Trustees

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Laila Traboulsi, CEO of Malak Pharmacies a C3G trustee and her team

By: Kebba Ansu Manneh

Gambia Cancer Confrontation, Care and Consolation (C3G) has observed that medical challenges and limited resources and awareness creation on the disease beset the fight against Cancer in The Gambia.

The Trustees of the Association made this disclosure in a statement shared with TAT ahead of its 6th edition of breast and cervical cancer screening exercise and awareness-raising event hosted today, Saturday 14th, October 2023, at the Bundung Hospital, where patients were screened and consumables given at no cost.

“In our small but tight-knit nation – The Gambia, the battle against Cancer is not just a medical challenge; it’s a fight against limited resources and a profound lack of awareness regarding cancer symptoms. This unfortunate combination results in late diagnoses and drastically reduces the chances of successful treatment for many Gambian sufferers,” Soma Njie, a communications expert and C3G trustee, told this medium.

She added: “The sixth edition of the breast and cervical cancer screening will eloquently express the profound fear that many individuals describe when the topics of wellness and Cancer are discussed candidly: “The fear in the eyes of many who come to us is evident. They see a cancer diagnosis as a death sentence.”

Madam also revealed that changing the mindset of Gambians on Cancer as a deadly disease is one reason for launching a series of sensitization and awareness creation events through the media, noting that focusing on sensitizing the nation about the significance of early detection and treatment, as well as letting people know that C3G has the means to treat Cancer, especially if discovered early.

Laila Traboulsi, CEO of Malak Pharmacies a C3G trustee, shares a personal perspective: “Every day, I hear stories of clients and their families being diagnosed. It instills in me a responsibility to always go that extra mile, fueled by my faith. On C3G’s event days, this means ensuring every woman feels welcomed, fed, informed, and comforted.”

She added: “C3G’s vision extends far beyond Pink October screenings. Their name encapsulates their mission: Confronting Cancer through preventative and mitigative measures, offering care by speeding up lab results delivery for cancer patients through their diagnostic lab at EFTH, and providing consolation through their envisioned palliative care unit.”

Dr. Abubakar Jah, the founder and President resident of C3G, paints a poignant picture of the situation, saying: “The story of Cancer in The Gambia is bleak in every respect. Knowledge about Cancer is very poor, and most people are tragically diagnosed late. As a result, these patients usually die a painful and demeaning death.”

He added: “However, amidst the shadows of despair, C3G stands as a beacon of hope. With a heartfelt commitment to education, advocacy, and care, this organization seeks to rewrite the narrative of Cancer in The Gambia. Over the past five years, C3G’s Pink October screening events have left an indelible mark on The Gambian community. With dedication that extends beyond the ordinary, C3G has provided free screenings and additional medical services to an astonishing 4,000 women.”

Lady Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, The Gambia’s First Lady, has supported C3G since its inception. She passionately echoes the importance of early cancer detection and offers moral support to this noble cause.

“Together, as dedicated partners, we are making a difference in the fight against cancer in The Gambia,” The First Lady said with optimism.

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